HC questions govt. over erection of flex boards

The Madras High Court on Monday came down heavily on the State government for having failed to curb erection of unauthorised flex boards despite a specific ban imposed by the court on December 19, 2018 preventing political parties from putting them up.

A Division Bench of Justices M. Sathyanarayanan and B. Pugalendhi directed the Chief Secretary to file a counter affidavit to a petition filed by activist ‘Traffic’ K.R. Ramaswamy alleging illegal flex boards erected by a ruling partyman from Koyambedu to Poonamallee on July 14 and 15.

The activist claimed that All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) former councillor Devadoss had erected hundreds of banners on the stretch for his family function attended by Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam.

He also substantiated his claim by producing newspaper clippings. The judges responded by asking Mr. Devadoss to file his response by August 7and to file his own reports on the issue henceforth.

During the course of arguments, Justice Sathyanarayanan said, there was no use in the Chief Secretary issuing circulars to Collectors and Superintendents of Police to curb illegal flex boards without any improvement at the ground level.

Stating that flex boards could not be erected overnight, the judges wondered what prevented the police from taking action .

If the State was unable to control such illegalities, let it file an affidavit expressing helplessness, the judge said.

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